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Title: Towel reuse in hotels: Importance of normative appeal designs
Authors: Gossling, Stefan
Araña, Jorge E. 
Aguiar Quintana, Teresa 
UNESCO Clasification: 531290 Economía sectorial: turismo
Keywords: Bed linen
Normative appeals
Pro-environmental behaviour
Towel reuse
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: 0261-5177
Journal: Tourism Management 
Abstract: Laundry is a major factor in hotel fresh water use. Pro-environmental appeals to encourage tourists to reuse towels and bed linen have received much attention in the literature, though findings have remained inconclusive. This paper presents the results of a large field experiment with 21,000 observations in seven hotels catering to the sun, sand & sea leisure tourism market in Gran Canaria, Spain. Findings suggest that comprehensive message designs can increase towel reuse by 6.8% and bed linen reuse by 1.2%, compared to existing in-room messages. Results also show that nationality, age, length of stay, repeat visits, temperature, and hotel standard influence participation levels. The field experiment confirms that normative appeals can trigger significant behavioural change. Evidence suggests, however, that social norm generation may be a more promising avenue to changing behaviour than norm adherence.
ISSN: 0261-5177
DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2018.08.027
Source: Tourism Management [ISSN 0261-5177], v. 70, p. 273-283
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